2015 Volvo XC90 could plug-in with PHEV version

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Volvo will start selling its new version of the XC90 gas-powered crossover in the US in Spring 2015 and it looks like the Swedish automaker won't waste too much time getting to the plug-in variant. In fact, the company may start selling its XC90 PHEV as early as next summer, which might beat the serially-delayed Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, thought to be the model's primary competitor, to the US market, Green Car Reports says. The XC90 PHEV will have a 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged engine and an electric motor for the powertrain as well as an additional rear-axle electric motor for all-wheel-drive capability. The crossover is said to deliver about 300 horsepower.

Volvo appears to be buoyed by the results of the V60 plug-in diesel-hybrid, whose European sales have been better than expected. Still, in an attempt to better appeal to Americans, Volvo decided to move away from the diesel component in favor of the gas-powered PHEV for the XC90 late last year. The company will sacrifice about five percent in fuel economy compared to the diesel, though the model will still be fuel-thrifty, as the diesel PHEV gets about 120 miles per gallon on the more lenient European driving cycle test.

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